The Online Library of Knowledge


You are here: Life > Mammals > Foxes


Red foxRed fox Foxes are members of the dog family with pointed muzzles and bushy tails. There are 13 species of fox. They include the red fox, which is by far the commonest and most widespread kind, the fennec fox and kit fox, which both inhabit deserts, and the Arctic fox. Foxes usually live in small family groups and are omnivorous: they eat most foods. Many hunt small mammals such as rodents. The red fox's adaptability has earned it a reputation for cunning.

Red fox

Foxes fightingFoxes fightingRed fox yawningRed fox yawningThe red fox is an omnivore: it will feed on almost anything, from mice and rabbits to birds, fruit, worms and insects. It has particularly acute hearing, enabling it to locate its prey, mostly rodents, from a distance. It catches them by pouncing on them.

Red foxes look for mates in January. They become unusually active, wandering around in search of a partner. As they move through the night, they make loud screams as a way of finding one another. Once united, the male and female stay together throughout the mating season. After mating, the foxes look for a suitable den, such as a hollow log or the abandoned burrow of another animal. This is where the female will give birth about two months later.

A red fox can hear a mouse squeak from about 100 m (330 ft) away.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile